The Best NASA Satellite Photos from the Last 50 Years

Solar Storms, With a Chance of Proton Showers


This large solar flare, produced by an active region of the sun (AR9077), triggered magnetic storms and knocked out satellites when it created a solar storm on July 14, 2000. Nicknamed the Bastille Day Event, it was the third largest storm of its kind in the past 30 years, and the biggest solar radiation event since 1989. The Slinky-like loops represent magnetic field lines.

The orbiting Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) satellite captured this close-up image after the flare. Recorded in extreme ultraviolet light, it covers a 230,000-by-77,000 kilometer area on the sun’s surface and shows a one-million-degree solar plasma cooling down.

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